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Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Leaf Healthy House - Penang

Vegetarian food in Penang is growing exponentially.  If you wander around the streets of Georgetown, you will see many new veggie places popping up on its iconic side streets.  The Leaf prides itself on serving fresh (I mean really fresh) ingredients, many of which are picked from the garden at the rear of the restaurant.  For more information, you can check out their Facebook page here.

The Leaf Healthy House
Location: No.5 Lebuh Penang, Georgetown, Penang
Contact: 016-4239453
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am-3.00pm & 5.30pm-9.00pm.  Closed Sunday.

The signature dishes are advertised on the outside of the eatery.  A mix of Western and local dishes are served here.
The interior look of The Leaf is serene and peaceful, but can get feverishly busy during the popular eating hours.  If you want a more relaxing experience, it is best to visit during odd hours.
Here is a list of ingredients that are included and excluded from the cooking at The Leaf.
We kicked our meal off with the Coral Grass (Sweet and Spicy).  This dish is basically an Asian influenced fresh salad.  The sauce does indeed capture good sweet and spicy flavours, like the name would imply.  Overall though, I found that this particular leafy vegetable didn't work too well with this combination.  Moreover, the transparent 'coral' jelly piece didn't add anything to the dish.

Price: RM5.90.     7/10

Next dish was the Spaghetti Basil Leaf and Pine Nuts Sauce.  I loved the fresh aromatic flavour of the blended basil leaves, which were picked fresh from the garden at the back of the restaurant.  The spaghetti was cooked well, as were the fresh vegetables.  I loved the sprinkling of pine nuts on top, which gave a nice additional crunchy texture.  Portion wise, I found it to be good value for the price.  Definitely a dish that I would order upon returning to The Leaf again.

Price: RM8.90.     8/10

Here is a look at the back of the restaurant.  As mentioned, a lot of the ingredients that are used in the cooking at The Leaf are plucked from this very garden.
Along the side of the restaurant there are also fresh herbs, like the basil which was used in the spaghetti dish.

Conclusion - When I heard the name 'The Leaf', the first colour which popped into my mind is obviously green.  I must say, overall the food at this eatery does live up to its name.  The ingredients are fresh, green and healthy.  If you're looking for good tasting and health concious food, then The Leaf is definitely somewhere to add to your list, if you're food hunting around Georgetown

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 7/10

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jiv Jago Vegetarian Cafe - Bugis

Many of you will remember my review of Jiv Jago, back in November 2013.  Back then, I reviewed this new Western vegetarian restaurant on their very first day.  Understandably, the first day is tough for any business - So I decided to do another review of Jiv Jago, now that a few months have passed and they have had a chance to settle down.  Jiv Jago is run by husband and wife duo Yuga and Vaishnavi.

Jiv Jago Vegetarian Cafe
Location: 17 Bali Lane
Contact: 96796722
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12.00pm-9.00pm. Sunday Closed.

CLOSED DOWN - As of 17/07/2014 - Owners are intending to re-open Jiv Jago again sometime in the future at a different location.

The menu has more or less stayed the same, since my last visit.  Although a few extra dishes have been added.  The dishes are all entirely Western, and yes, many of their dishes do include mock meat and dairy.  If you're someone opposed to the idea of consuming mock meat, then avoid Jiv Jago.  If you're a vegan, most dishes can quite easily be adjusted to be made vegan.  Just make sure to state you are vegan, upon ordering.

Here is Jiv Jago's most loyal customer.
First dish of the day that we selected was the Garlic Bread.  Vegans like myself are usually very cautious of ordering garlic bread outside, due to the fact that it is usually made using butter or non-vegan margarine.  I was delighted to find out that there is no dairy used in this garlic bread.  Moreover, the taste of the garlic paste used was really outstanding.  A nice way to begin the meal.

Price: $3.50.     7/10
Another side dish available at Jiv Jago is the Chicken Nuggets.  Obviously these nuggets are not made from scratch, so there is not really any chef skill involved in this dish.  But, if you love mock meat, then these nuggets will appeal to you.  Having said that, I've eaten better chicken nuggets.  This particular version didn't have the dense juiciness that I've experienced from others.

Price: $4.00.     6/10

The dish that I loved most from my first visit of Jiv Jago was the spaghetti.  Therefore, this time around I experimented with another pasta dish named Spicy Chicken Spaghetti.  The key reason as to why Jiv Jago pasta dishes are so delicious is the sauces.  The tomato sauce is fresh and made from scratch by chef Vaishnavi and has a wonderful flavour, which is packed full of tomato punch.  This awesome sauce is coupled with well cooked spaghetti.  Those that are vegan must make sure to request for this dish to be made without cheese. 

Price: $8.90.     9/10

Next dish was a new item on their menu, the Beef Burger.  Overall this is quite a run-of-the-mill burger, but I was particular impressed by the authenticity of the mock meat used as the burger patty.  It really had quite an impressive resemblance to a real beef burger.  This burger comes with a generous side serving of crinkle cut fries, drizzled in tomato ketchup.  If you're looking for a decent Western burger, than this is definitely one you should consider ordering.

Price: $8.50.     8/10

Next dish to the table was the Mutton Pizza.  Jiv Jago have quite a sizable variety of pizzas to choose from.  However, these pizzas will inevitably come with cheese by default.  Therefore, for this visit, I decided to experiment with ordering the pizza without cheese.  To me (being a recovering pizza addict), pizza will never be the same without that glorious gooey stringy cheese on top.  But having that, I still found myself enjoying this cheeseless version.  The mutton is a little bit dry though, but the tomato sauce used on the base made up for it.  This pizza was made vegan upon request, if you want it to be made without cheese, be sure to specify when ordering.

Price: $8.90.     7/10

To finish the meal off we indulged in the vegan Lime Sorbet.  Jiv Jago has a number of vegan and non-vegan ice creams to choose from.  This particular sorbet was zesty and refreshing, a great way to end our wonderful meal at Jiv Jago.

Price: $3.00 (1 scoop).     7/10

Conclusion - Jiv Jago are improving day by day.  I believe it is important that vegetarian food in Singapore comes in many different shapes and sizes.  If you're looking for healthy vegan/vegetarian food, you're probably going to want to stay away from Jiv Jago.  But if you're looking for a fantastic venue, that has welcoming hosts and delicious Western food - Then Jiv Jago is one of the best in Singapore.  The spaghetti dishes are a particular must order.

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 9/10
Service - 9/10
Value - 7/10

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shi Fang Zai Vegetarian - Ipoh

I've recently been embarking on a seemingly never ending quest to unearth the many vegetarian treasures that lurk in Malaysia.  Ipoh may not have the abundance or quality of the vegetarian food in places like KL or Penang - But there are still some pretty awesome veggie places in this town.  One of the most famous vegetarian eateries is Shi Fang Zai.  This restaurant is close by One Curve and Emas Food Court, and you can access it from the Ipoh Lumut Highway.

Shi Fang Zai Vegetarian
Location: 6-8 Jalan Mas, Taman Mas, 30100 Falim, Perak
Contact: 016-4229 389/016-5519 389
Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am-3.00pm & 5.30pm-10.00pm

The ambiance of Shi Fang Zai is that of a typical traditional Chinese restaurant.  Nothing else worth mentioning about it.
I never really understood the point of ordering vegetable dishes in these restaurants, as I seldom find they are worth the advertised price.  Nevertheless, here we have the Braised Mushroom with Vegetables.  I liked the variety of mushrooms that could be found on the plate - King oyster, needle and shitake were all floating around.  Overall though, I found that the dish was quite bland and easily forgettable, especially when matched with the other two dishes that we had on the table.

Price: RM12.00.     6/10
One of the signature dishes of this restaurant is the Bean Curd in Pumpkin Gravy.  Overall this was my favourite dish of the meal.  The beancurd is soft and delicate and literally melts in the mouth when eaten.  It reminded me of how the beancurd at Yi Xin (Singapore) is, and immediately put a smile on my face.  This outstanding beancurd is matched well with the pumpking gravy, which is mild and not too sweet.  Really outstanding dish.

Price: RM8.00.     9/10
Last dish ordered was Rendang Mutton.  Rendang is one of those dishes that really everyone can enjoy - It is a relatively mild dry sticky curry, with incredible lemongrass flavour.  This was a wonderful rendition of this trademark dish, with mock mutton, potato and mushroom inside.  The curry sauce was quite sensational, and would act as a wonderful introduction to rendang for those unfamiliar with the dish.  This dish varies in price depending on the size you get.  I got the small - But medium (RM16) and large (RM24) versions are also available.

Price: RM12.00.      8/10

Conclusion - From the inside this place may just look like a typical run of the mill traditional Chinese vegetarian place - But as soon as I scanned through the menu, it changed that perception.  This restaurant has a large menu full of incredibly interesting and unique items.  I loved the three dishes I sampled from Shi Fang Zai, but the beancurd pumpkin was particularly delicious.  Definitely a place I would visit again.

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 8/10

Friday, March 21, 2014

Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant (Delivery) - Little India

Whenever I think of my years of wonderful memories of Gokul, one word springs to my mind - Evolution.  Gokul is a brand that is constantly striving to change for the better.  Recently, Gokul began the next stage in their expansion by introducing their new delivery system.  This system offers island wise coverage and requests a minimum order of just $30.  With vegetarian delivery in Singapore few and far between, I was certainly feverishly excited to find out that Gokul was entering into this market.  So let's find out how it went...

Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 19 Upper Dickson Road
Contact: 63967769
Opening Hours: Daily 8.00am-10.30pm.

As I mentioned, Gokul will deliver to anywhere in Singapore.  The delivery charge varies depending on your location.  If you're living close to their Little India headquarters, then you could potentially pay as little as $4 for delivery.  If you're staying further away, then you could pay anywhere up to $10.  For those that have visited Gokul, you will know they have a mind-blowing array of over 500 dishes to choose from.  The delivery menu doesn't have as many options (mainly due to some dishes being difficult to packet).  But there is a healthy selection to choose from.  You can see a list of their items on their website here.  Take note, delivery is daily, but only during the timings 5pm-10pm.
As I've emphasised many times on my blog, Gokul is not only about Indian food.  In fact, the owner (and creator of most dishes) Mdm S.Rajeswary of Gokul is a Singaporean born and raised - Therefore local specialities like this Char Kway Teow are of sublime quality.  Last year I had the honour of hosting two well-known bloggers Sg Food on Foot and Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow at Gokul.  They remarked to me that this rendition of char kway teow was as good as the real thing - Coming from two seasoned bloggers that is quite a compliment.  Better eaten fresh, but packeted it is decent enough.

Price: $9.50.    8/10

If you're entering into Indian restaurants, you may come across '65' dishes, like this Chicken 65.  The reason for using the term '65' has many different stories, and it is difficult to pinpoint which is true.  I particularly like the story of it being created by an electronic engineer, who then subsequently named the dish after the atomic number of terbium.  Other more simpler stories are that Northern Indian workers visiting Chennai couldn't read the tamil menu, but always ordered dish number '65'.  Overall this dish was too dry and the mock meat was a little tough.  The flavour is pretty mild, with sweet tomato being the most dominant flavour.

Price: $11.00.     6/10

We then moved onto my favourite aspect of any Gokul meal - Curries.  Starting things off with the Ayam Mesak Merah.  This is a dish I've eaten before at the headquarters and utterly adored it.  As a takeaway option it works pretty well - Peas, potato and mock meat make up the main components to this dish.  Unfortunately the mock meat is derived from gluten, which is not a particularly healthy choice.  The flavour of the curry is great though, and the gluten mock meat does provide quite an uncanny resemblance to real chicken.

Price: $11.00.     8/10

Next for a more traditional Indian curry, Aloo Gobi.  The name of this dish may sound a little perplexing to some, but it simply means potato (aloo) cauliflower (gobi) curry.  This dish is quite versatile, and can be served mild or spicy, wet or dry etc. This particular version was wet and reasonably mild.  The potato and cauliflower were fresh, I love how they were not hopelessly overcooked, yet still seemed to absorb all the wonderful curry flavour.  One of the best aloo gobi renditions that I've tried so far.

Price: $10.00.     9/10

Last dish we ordered was another wet curry named Mutton Rendang.  All curries from Gokul have tremendous unique flavour, all the more remarkable considering no onions or garlic are used in any of the cooking.  I loved the zesty lemongrass, which leaped out of this dish.  Due to the intensity of the spices, it is quite easy to trick non-vegetarians into thinking this is real meat that they are consuming.  I recall bringing many dead animals fanatics to Gokul, and seeing their look of disbelief when I tell them this is merely mock meat.  This curry was my personal favourite of the evening.

Price: $11.00.     9/10

Conclusion - I realised recently that Gokul food not only has an unmistakable taste, but a one-of-a-kind smell too.  When the food arrived at my doorstep, my senses transported me to their Little India outlet, and it reminded me of all the great times I have had their.  The delivery system may not be perfect now, but I find the pricing is fair, the punctuality good and most importantly it has that glorious Gokul flavour.  Of course, eating it fresh from the kitchen at Upper Dickson road is still my number one choice, but the delivery system provides a great second option.

Overall Rating
Food - 9/10
Ambiance- N.A/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 8/10

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Seelva Pure Vegetarian Cafe - Penang

If you're coming to Penang in search of awesome vegetarian Indian food, then most likely you will leave disappointed.  Penang is a dream location for vegetarian food, but due to the lack of Indian population and demand in general for Indian food - The quality will be quite lackluster.  Georgetown has a handful of vegetarian Indian eateries, but if you're looking for a more authentic local experience, you might want to check out Seelva, who will be the focus for today's food adventure.

Seelva Vegetarian Cafe
Location: No.85 Kompleks Batu Lanchang Food Court, Penang
Contact: (04)016-4536351/(04)016-4516673
Opening Hours: Daily 3.00pm-10.30pm.  Closed Wednesday.

The owner of Seelva is a softly-spoken and humble man, who has been selling vegetarian food in Penang for over 10 years now.  He always aims to provide customizable food based on what the customer desires.  He also caters for buffets, parties and other such events.
Roti Canai (the identical Malaysian version of roti prata) is surprisingly not a particularly common dish in Penang, unlike Johor Bahru or Kuala Lumpur.  This roti was specially made for us so that is vegan - Yes that's right, roti prata by default is not vegan (milk is used in the dough).  This roti was soft and fluffy, but doesn't have the typical sinful amount of salt and oil, that is traditionally used.  Therefore, it more closely resembles romali roti.  Not the best roti canai I've eaten (especially as it was served with boring one dimensional daal), but still something that can fill the stomach.  If you're looking for the best roti canai - KL and JB should be on your agenda - It is worth checking out JB expert food blogger Johor Kaki for his thoughts on the best roti canai, if you're hopping over from Singapore.

Price: RM1.00 (per pc).     5/10
Seelva Vegetarian adds an interesting twist to Nasi Lemak, by making it economic rice 'style' nasi lemak.  What this means is customers can select the nasi lemak food items themselves (self service) and also the quantity.  After which, the staff will calculate the cost.  I selected vegetables, tofu, peanut and mock fish.  The fish was hard and rigid, but still tasted good.  I particularly loved the cubed tofu in a rich tomato sauce.  The sauce was surprisingly mild and really took this dish to the next level.  Even just the rice and tofu alone would make for an excellent meal, but the crunch of the peanuts made it even better.

Price: RM3.00.     8/10

For those wanting to experience true Indian-Malay fusion food, you should definitely try Pasembur.  This dish looks almost like mee rebus or mee java, but is unique in its own right. There are no noodles in the dish, and it consists mainly of beansprouts, cucumber, potatoes and tofu.  The sauce is sweet and spicy, with a mild nutty flavour.  This is a dish that is always associated with Penang, but it can be found in other parts of Malaysia under the name rojak mamak.

Price: RM3.50.     7/10

Conclusion - Seelva has been one of the more popular vegetarian Penang hawkers over the years.  But many people remember him from his old location (also in the Batu Lanchang area), and were not aware that he moved to this new food court.  Definitely this stall is worth visiting for an experience of local Penang Indian food - Their nasi lemak is a must order.

Overall Rating
Food - 7/10
Ambiance- 6/10
Service - 9/10
Value - 7/10

Monday, March 17, 2014

Luk Yea Yan Vegetarian Restaurant - Penang

Malaysia ranks as one of my most favourite countries to find high quality vegetarian food in the world, and Penang is one of Malaysia's biggest food gems.  Visitors to Penang will usually want to hunt down their signature local specialities, such as assam laksa, char kway teow and cendol.  Today, I will be targeting a restaurant which has been known for years for serving the best vegetarian assam/Penang laksa on the island.  Will it really be able to live up to the hype?  There is only one way to find out...


Luk Yea Yan Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: No.33 Lorong Madras, Georgetown, Penang
Contact: (04)2281148
Opening Hours: Daily 7.30am-3.00pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm.  Closed Wednesday.

This restaurant is quite large, and customers can choose whether they want to eat upstairs or downstairs.  The latter usually being the most hectic.  Luk Yea Yan have currently been residing at 33 Lorong Madras for over a year, but have been in existence in Penang for over 10 years.
Luk Yea Yan have quite an extensive menu, mostly serving typical Chinese dishes.  Island wide they are known for serving the best vegetarian laksa - It is even common for non-vegetarians to make the trip to this eatery for the laksa.
Now we come to their signature dish, the Laksa.  I've eaten quite a number of Penang laksa's in my time, but I must say this one ranks as the most glorious.  This is a fresh, sour, flowery, murky bowl of utter delight.  It is difficult to capture all the flavours in this dish, as there are so many things happening at once.  I particularly loved the powdery thickness of the soup base.  I personally adore sour dishes, so I couldn't stop scooping up the tangy sauce.  The noodles are thick, but not too starchy.  The fresh mint leaves and ginger flower make the dish not only look visually splendid, but also add a welcome raw textural element.  If you're coming to Penang, there is no doubt that this dish needs to be a part of your itinerary.

Price: RM5.50.     10/10 
It was always going to be difficult to surpass the mind-blowing laksa, but the Satay we ordered was also pretty decent.  There were a total of six pieces of crunchy yet juicy satay sticks.  Of course, with any satay the key lies with the peanut sauce.  Overall, the sauce was smooth and fine tasting.  But I didn't find that it had that typical punch that a usual satay sauce has, it could have also benefited from a higher spice level.

Price: RM7.00.     7/10

Conclusion - If assam laksa is one of your reasons for wanting to visit Penang, then Luk Yea Yan will send you to into a laksa-infused dream like state.  Out of the thousands of dishes I've reviewed over the years, it would definitely rank up there as one of the best.  Is Luk Yea Yan a one hit laksa wonder?  I would have to try more of their dishes before I answer that.  Worth going just for the laksa though.

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 7/10
Value - 8/10

Friday, March 14, 2014

Divine Realm Vegetarian Restaurant - Hougang

I found myself scrolling through the older posts on my blog recently, and realised that it has been almost five years since I originally reviewed Divine Realm.  For those who have scanned through my Top 10 Vegetarian Eateries list, you will know that Divine Realm has been on that list for years.  People from near and far come to this eatery, which is nestled away in the Hougang heartland.  If you're visiting on weekends (or even worse - 1st & 15th) then be prepared to wait a while before being served.

Divine Realm Vegetarian Restaurant
Location: 501 Hougang Avenue 8, #01-630 

Contact: 63872058
Opening Hours: Daily 7:00am-9:30pm.  Closed Wednesday

IMPORTANT UPDATE (10/10/2016) - Divine Realm at Hougang no longer serve their famous tze char dishes.  They are now only serving handmade noodles and other dishes, due to complaints by residents in the above blocks.  However, Divine Realm have opened a second outlet under the name SHU VEGETARIAN at Jalan Kayu, which will sell all their famous tze char items.

Over the years, the menu has remained much the same.  There is an impressive selection of over 100 dishes to choose from - These include ramen, dim sum, Western and more.  This establishment has for years been known for their mesmerizing handmade noodle dishes.  Unfortunately, due to a change in their staff, the noodles are no longer handmade.  But the owners have assured me that they will do their best to bring back their signature handmade noodles in the future.  As a consolation, the noodle dishes are still excellent - Even if the noodles are not handmade.

If you're visiting Divine Realm, it is worth taking a peek at the signboards at the front of the eatery.  These posters highlight special dishes (which can't be found on the menu).
Here I am posing with the dedicated boss of Divine Realm.  Not only is he the owner, but I would regard him as one of the most naturally gifted chefs I've met in Singapore.

Fried rice is one of the most world renowned Chinese food items, yet it is one that takes specially acquired skill to master.  The Tom Yam Fried Rice from Divine Realm was certainly decent, with undertones of Thai tom yam flavour, with perfectly cooked rice.  I did, however, find it was lacking in that essential wok aroma, which should shimmer throughout any good fried rice.  By no means a poor dish though.

Price: $3.50.     7/10

After chatting away with the owner, I found out that sometimes customers request for specific dishes to be made, and usually these wishes are fulfilled.  This Sambal Petai with Eggplant is an example of one of those dishes which can't be found anywhere on the menu, but was simply request by a customer one day.  Amazingly, this was my favourite dish of the evening.  The eggplant, which was deskinned and fried prior, had a sensational slightly crisp outer structure, and a delightful creamy center.  The dish is not too spicy, and the textural firmness of the nutritious petai beans match well with the eggplant.  Any customer can specifically request for this dish, and I definitely recommend doing so - It is amazing.

Price: $10.00.     9/10
One of my personal favourite dishes, this is the Claypot Vinegar Pig Trotters.  Overall, this is one of the better versions of this classic confinement dish that I've tried.  I loved the black beans and fungus used, but I was less of a fan of the mock meat used to replicate the actual trotter.  The hero of the dish is the sauce though - Without question the best vinegar trotter sauce I've indulged in so far.  It was an ideal mixture of zesty sweetness and comforting warmth from the ginger.  Another dish I would highly recommend ordering.

Price: $10.00.     8/10

One of the signature dishes of Divine Realm is the Yam Basket.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of yam basket, and will never order when eating at Chinese restaurants.  But this version did allow me to learn to appreciate this dish a little more.  I loved the diversity of ingredients that could be found inside the basket - Carrots, capsicum, cashews, monkey head mushroom and shitake mushroom could all be found inside.  The yam was fried delicately, with the yam itself being creamy and slightly sweet.

Price: $15.00.     8/10

Here I am with the lady boss, and all the kind-hearted staff of Divine Realm.

Conclusion - Being a food blogger, it is a prerequisite that I travel around different eateries week in week out.  Due to nature of this aforementioned lifestyle, I seldom become a regular customer at any places.  Having said that, I have been eating regularly at Divine Realm for almost seven years now and always find myself returning here.  I would be willing to make the argument that Divine Realm serves the best Chinese food in Singapore - It is practically flawless.  If you haven't tried this place yet, don't deprive yourself of this gem for much longer.

Overall Rating
Food - 9/10
Ambiance- 8/10
Service - 9/10
Value - 8/10

Friday, March 7, 2014

Angel's Bistro - Raffles Place

I think every vegetarian in Singapore has heard of the name Angel's Bistro before.  This eatery has been running since 2006, firstly under the name Angel's Heart - In 2009 along with a change in ownership, the name also changed to Angel's Bistro.  It is an eatery which prides itself on using no MSG and as many organic ingredients as possible (around 50%).  The vibe of this eatery is very relaxed and friendly.

Angel's Bistro
Location: 28 Stanley Street
Contact: 62204344

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-4.00pm.  Closed on weekends.

CLOSED DOWN - As of 01/12/2015

Angel's Bistro currently gets the majority of its customers from the business workers around the area.  Due to the early closing time, and the fact they're closed on weekends - It may be difficult for customers living in other parts of Singapore to visit this eatery.  Even for myself, it took a while to find time in my schedule to visit.  Having said that, Angel's do occasionally open on the weekends for special functions or gatherings.  The eatery is quite large, but can get quite packed during the lunch hour.
The bulk of Angel's menu items are daily specials, which change depending on the day of the week.  These specials are typically available from 11am onwards.  Additionally, breakfast items, beverages and desserts are also on offer.  After a lengthy discussion with the owner, he informed me that he plans for revamp the existing menu in the future.  The menu is almost entirely vegan, the exceptions being ravioli and mushroom soup, which have cheese and cream respectively (breakfast items also contain egg and dairy).  No onion and garlic in any of the dishes.

First dish to my table was the Healthy Laksa.  Instead of using cows milk or coconut milk, this dish is using soy milk.  I've never eaten laksa with soy as a thickener before, but overall it worked quite well.  Granted, it doesn't have the same richness that coconut milk would achieve, but the flavour and texture still satisfied me.  I loved how the laksa paste was obviously made from scratch, the lemongrass in particular had strong pronounced flavour.  The owner and chef are also particularly proud of their homemade chilli, which you can see on top of this dish.

Price: $7.50.     7/10

Vegetable Cutlet was the next dish to the table.  Presentation wise, this was definitely the most beautiful looking dish.  Penne paste, steamed broccoli and carrots, a wedge of pumpkin and the vegetable wrap doused in gravy and topped with coriander.  Wow.  When it came to taste, everything was pretty delicious and all ingredients worked well together.  The vegetable cutlet tasted a bit like a soggy spring roll to me though.  With some adjustments in seasoning, I think the wrap could have been even better.  A fine tasting dish overall though.

Price: $9.50.     7/10

The last dish was the Claypot Chicken.  I loved how this dish didn't rely entirely on the usage of mock meat (just a few pieces were inside).  Instead, the chef fills the claypot with a wide variety of ingredients - Capsicum, lotus root, carrot, mushroom, tofu, bok choy, broccoli and black fungus can all be found soaking inside the claypot.  The amount of vegetables particularly was commendable, but it was the thick brown gravy which really won my heart.  The gravy had a delightful sourness, which reduced me to practically licking the pot clean.  Thai organic brown rice and clear soup are served on the side.

Price: $9.50.     8/10

Conclusion - Angel's Bistro provides a wonderful option to office workers around the Raffles Place, Telok Ayer and even Chinatown area.  However, assuming you are not working in those aforementioned areas, it will be tough to visit this eatery, due to the early closing time and inactivity on weekends.  Food wise, I have little complaints, superb quality overall.

Overall Rating
Food - 8/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 6/10

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